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UK gov't seeks finance expert, experience of giant trade deals preferred

[LONDON] Are you a finance expert with a proven record of negotiating big deals? There may be a challenging job for you in London.

The British government advertised on Monday for an experienced dealmaker to help forge a new relationship between its financial services industry and the European Union.

The next director-general of financial services at Her Majesty's Treasury will be paid around 125,000 pounds (S$222,373) a year. The post is open to all EU and Commonwealth nationals, according to the advert on the civil service's jobs website.

The successful applicant will have to tackle one of the thorniest questions resulting from June's Brexit vote - whether Britain can maintain easy access for its vast financial sector across the EU after it leaves the bloc.

"The DG will play a central role in defining and negotiating our new relationship with the EU in the field of financial services," the advert said. "The role will include a significant element of international travel to conduct negotiations and build relationships with the European Commission, finance ministries and international organisations."

Candidates should have "strong influencing and negotiating skills that achieve results, ideally in the field of financial regulation", the advert said.

One of the biggest issues is whether its financial services sector will keep its so-called "passporting" rights, a lynchpin of the EU single market that allows firms to provide services to clients across the bloc.

France has already begun courting bankers with new tax breaks for expatriates and Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Dublin are also making pitches.

The 125,000-pound salary is high for a civil servant but a fraction of the sum earned by many bankers who work in London's City financial district. The first task for any applicant may be to negotiate a better rate.

The previous director general of financial services, Charles Roxburgh, received more than 130,000 pounds in 2014 according to Treasury data. Mr Roxburgh, who joined from the consultancy firm McKinsey, was promoted last month to become second permanent secretary at the Treasury.